SEO - What You Need To Know! (Part 4)

By: Daniel Imbellino
Nov 20, 2012

It’s best to avoid Content Management Systems if you can, and stick with real code and find a decent editor such as “Notepad++” to create your content with. There are a lot of benefits to designing your site yourself. For one, you create the site implementing the code you understand how to read. This is a huge benefit since, if there’s a problem with a pages content, you can easily go to the page itself and fix the issue yourself, not having to rely on a CMS to do it for you. Also, you can easily update and manage content more easily by not having a “middleman” program that requires a ton of overhead (servers, PHP, databases, etc) in order to do its job. Also, your web pages content will be easier to edit if you stick with a good coding practice of mainly HTML and CSS as your backbone. Plainly said, learn HTML, CSS, and related internet technologies if you want to make your project really happen.

Don’t make Flash websites! Sure, Flash is cool, but not for making the barebones structure of a webpage. Flash relies on external plugins to function, that being said, if your Flash plugin doesn’t work, then any Flash content won’t work either! Another problem with Flash, is that search engines have a hard time reading and indexing Flash content. Infact Google has stated they can sometimes read a Flash file name, but that’s it, nothing else. The problem is, people are putting Flash buttons on their webpage’s, which Search engines cannot index properly. If you do decide to use Flash buttons for links (which I highly recommend not too), you need to give your Flash file a fully descriptive name, otherwise no one will ever find those links on the internet. Also, with Flash, you should include an “alt” tag in your HTML.

Standard HTML text links are the best choice. They are simple for search engines to index, and make sense of. Don’t put links in javascript declarations. Search engines have problems understanding scripts, this is because there is no standard programming language in existence today. HTML and CSS however are standards and search engines can easily make sense of them.

There are some coding practices you should avoid when designing your website, such as the use of too much “dynamic HTML”, placing HTML elements inside scripts, and loading your website with tons of multimedia functionality. Also, Dynamic pages and URL’s tend to be difficult for search engine spiders to properly index and evaluate. Dynamic URL’s tend to create long cryptic web addresses that, besides search engine spiders having problems with, they’re also difficult for users to read as well. Google typically shows the URL of a webpage’s content when displaying search results for a given query. If the URL’s are easy to read, this will help to provide more valuable information about that page to users. Don’t create longer than necessary filenames when naming your HTML pages, and don’t use underscores to separate words in your filenames either. Underscores are seen by search engines and user agents as word “combiners”, and not separators.

Ex: The file named “good_web_design_practices.html”, would be seen by search engines as all one word. Instead use hyphens to separate your words. Hyphens are seen by search engines as a “word separator.”

Ex: The filename “good-web-design-practices.html” would be seen by search engines as four separate words that are more likely to match a user’s search query. This helps search engines and users to accurately identify what your webpage’s content is about

Another note about URL’s, don’t make spaces in between your words and or other characters without using a hyphen when determining file names, directories, etc. Otherwise the URL will just be encoded by internet user agents and browsers using URL encoding characters to your address like this: %20%, in order to make up for empty spaces. This makes URL’s harder to read. Also, browsers typically display the full URL of a page that a user is currently viewing. If your file name is "section1ri58385.html", this makes no sense to anyone or anything, including search engine spiders. Instead name your files appropriately. If the page you are creating is about fire engines, then "all-about-fire-engines.html" is a good file name that accurately describes your content.

Continue to Part 5